Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Rescuing a piece of memorabilia for St Thomas' in Oxford

Today at an auction here in Oxford I managed to purchase an illuminated address on vellum to the Rev. Francis Underhill when he left his curacy at St Thomas the Martyr here in 1911. I was buying on behalf of the church, where I used to be Churchwarden and have a continuing residual role as Archivist.

[Image: illustration 1 of 1 for lot 74]

Image: Mallams

Francis Underhill musy have had an Exeter Collehe connection -as that is the coat of arms in the bottom right corner. At its upper left is asmall figure of a Boy Scout, so I assume he must have run the parish scout troup. The church itself is shown in the capital O of Oxford, and the parish emblem of a mitre pierecved by a sword can be seen in the T of the patron ssint's name.

I think that the scroll was probably the work of one of the Sisters of the parish sisterhood  - the Community of St Thomas the Martyr - who did similar work for the church.

I am grateful to the Rev David Johnson for pointing out to me the fact thqt this piece was coming up for auction, and enabling us to bring it back to St Thomas'


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